Happy Holy Days From the Trumps
There are few things as big as Donald Trump’s personality — but the National Christmas Tree comes close! At 50 feet, it loomed large over the crowd at Thursday night’s lighting ceremony, almost as large as the debate about the holiday itself. For the Trumps, the event wasn’t so much about flipping the switch on a giant evergreen but about turning the page on eight years of sanitized celebrating.
“We’re saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again,” he said with gusto. And they aren’t just saying it, they're embracing it. From the official White House Christmas card to red and green press conference signs, this is the December Donald Trump has been waiting for. “Today is a day that I’ve been looking very much forward to all year long. It’s one that we have heard and we speak about and we dream about. And now, as the President of the United States, it’s my tremendous honor to finally wish America and the world, a very merry Christmas,” he told the crowd at the ellipse. With a bit of irony, Trump pointed back to the 1870 legislation signed by President Ulysses Grant making Christmas a federal holiday. “And I sort of feel we’re doing that again. That’s what’s happening,” he said.
But Christmas isn’t the only thing making a comeback under President Trump — so is the story behind it. In a speech that no one would ever mistake for Barack Obama’s, the 45th president made it clear that this “is a holy season, the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… [That],” he went on, is “the most extraordinary gift of all — the gift of God’s love for all of humanity… Whatever our beliefs, we know that the birth of Jesus Christ and the story of this incredible life forever changed the course of human history. There’s hardly an aspect of our lives today that His life has not touched — art, music, culture, law and our respect for the sacred dignity of every person, everywhere in the world.”
“Each one of us is a child of God,” the president reminded Americans. “That is the true source of joy this time of the year.” These remarks were completely lost on a media whose only headline appeared to be the empty chairs in the back of the viewing area. (A problem common to every president, Fox 5 points out — with pictures to prove it.) For most of America, though, it was a refreshing break from the Left’s pageants of political correctness. To millions of them, Donald Trump isn’t just tapping into the frustration they feel about Christmas but the mockery of every value they hold dear: marriage, family, faith, and patriotism.
As far as some liberals are concerned, believing in Jesus is as childish as believing in Santa. They’re embarrassed by the “unsophistication” of Christianity. And, for years, they’ve done a bang-up job persuading others to feel likewise. “The opponents of ‘Merry Christmas’ and other uses of the word ‘Christmas’ know exactly what they are doing…" writes Dennis Prager. "They are disingenuous when they dismiss defenders of ‘Merry Christmas’ as fabricating some sort of ‘war.’ The Left in America, like the Left in Europe, wants to create a thoroughly secular society… That’s why ‘Merry Christmas’ so bothers the anti-religious Left. It is perhaps the single most blatant reminder of just how religious America is.”
“The ‘Happy Holidays’ advocates want it both ways,” Prager argues. “They dismiss opponents as hysterical, while at the same time, relentlessly pushing to rid America of ‘Merry Christmas.’”
Why? Because in the end, this isn’t a war on Christmas. It’s a war on Christ. Every time the nine letters of Christmas are used, people come face to face with the six that secularists are trying to drive out. So this is hardly a silly little controversy invented by hypersensitive Christians. It’s the epitome of the fight for faith in America. And don’t believe any liberal who says otherwise.
Originally published here.
Kennedy Gives the Nod to Trump Pick
When Americans turn up the heat, don’t be surprised when leaders see the light! That’s what happened Thursday, after many of you took the time to contact Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) about his handling of a solid nominee for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Louisiana Republican had baffled conservatives by dragging his feet for weeks on one of Donald Trump’s best judicial picks of the year, Kyle Duncan.
Now, after a month of indecision, Sen. Kennedy announced late Thursday that he will, in fact, support Duncan’s nomination. “After hearing his testimony and watching him gracefully handle the scrutiny of a public hearing, I am confident that Kyle Duncan will be a welcome addition to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit," he explained. "I plan to vote in favor of him and look forward to welcoming him home to Louisiana.”
The news came as quite a relief to the White House and Senate Republicans, who stood to lose the vote without Kennedy’s backing. This is another example of the kind of difference Americans can make when they take the time to get involved. History shows that our republic only works when people get engaged. Our thanks to those of you who did!
Originally published here.
When the Cohen Gets Tough, the GOP’s Tough Get Cohen
The violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, this summer was a bonanza for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as it (and the media coverage of it) helped fuel their fabricated claims that “hate” is on the rise in the United States. That’s why J. Richard Cohen, president of the SPLC, was a witness before a hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee Thursday.
Fortunately, some members of the committee took the opportunity to challenge Cohen about SPLC’s finances, as well as their subjective and biased “hate group” designations — and the serious consequences that have flowed from them. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) raised the financial issue, asking, “Why would there be a need for the SPLC to have off-shore accounts — reported up to $69 million — in areas like the Cayman Islands?” Cohen’s response on behalf of his “nonprofit” raised more questions than it answered, when he said, “First, it avoids certain kinds of filings, and it avoids unrelated business income tax.”
Rep. Thomas Garrett (R-VA) — whose district actually includes Charlottesville — pointed to public records of political donations indicating that almost all the gifts given by SPLC senior leaders are for liberal causes or candidates. He indicated how troubling it is “to see an entity that has essentially been de facto made responsible for determining what is and isn’t ‘hate,’ that skews almost exclusively … in a particular direction.” Cohen’s toughest interrogator, though, was Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who pointed out how incongruous it is that the SPLC “includes as hate groups mainstream, non-violent public policy groups like the Family Research Council and the public interest law firms like Alliance Defending Freedom, but it doesn’t list Antifa or other anarchist groups that … literally call for violence against individuals… To me that reduces your credibility.”
Later, Cohen testified about working with Google to change their search algorithm, in part because when Charleston, SC, church shooter Dylann Roof did a Google search it led him to racist websites. Rep. Perry pounced, saying, “What about when Mr. Corkins googled your website and then went and shot up the Family Research Council, including shooting an individual there, and then said that he was inspired by your website?” Cohen dismissed any responsibility, but Perry pressed on, saying, “You’re [not] responsible, but yet Dylann Roof read whatever he read and that is held as responsible for what he did? …[I]t seems like a breathtaking double standard.”
The curtain is being pulled back on the uber-leftist organization SPLC and you can help spread the word. Tell people to visit the website www.splcexposed.com to see how this anti-Christian organization has not only infiltrated government agencies but even elementary schools.
Originally published here.
At SCOTUS, a Face-Off Over Icing
Next week is a huge moment for religious liberty in America. At long last, baker Jack Phillips’s case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in what many believe could be the most important ruling for freedom in decades. To preview those arguments and the importance of the Masterpiece Cakes suit, check out this column by FRC’s Travis Weber. Also, join us in prayer for the Phillips, their attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom, and America’s nine justices as they prepare for December 5.
Originally published here.
This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.